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As part of the national event, taking place on 7th September, the retail and leisure destination has teamed up with three local charities – Conquer Life, Comics Youth and the Open Door Charity – which are all dedicated to improving and maintaining youngsters’ mental wellbeing.
The three organisations, which are all funded by the Liverpool ONE Foundation, will stage a series of activities across the estate, helping to shine a light on the importance of mental health in young people and how it has been affected against the backdrop of the pandemic.
Among those taking part is Conquer Life, which promotes a positive lifestyle and emotional resilience among young people.
The charity will host a ‘worry jar’ workshop at Waterstones on College Lane, encouraging children to talk about their anxieties. Conquer Life will also invite young people to share their wellbeing tips and advice on a special whiteboard-style mural on the escalator glass opposite John Lewis.
Elsewhere, Comics Youth, which provides creative workshops to marginalised and disadvantaged young people, will create two wall vinyls – one in Lower South John Street opposite Sports Direct entrance and one on College Lane near Starbucks – as part of a city-wide trail, ‘Safe Space’.
The trail combines an art exhibition across public spaces with a podcast, aiming to provide a tour of Liverpool city centre that highlights safe spaces handpicked by young, commissioned artists.
Completing the trio of charity support, the Open Door Charity will be present on site to promote good mental health and wellbeing practices for young people aged 15-30 years old.
“The pandemic has, undoubtedly, impacted many people’s mental health, but particularly that of young people.
“As we know, their routines of school, college or university have been turned upside down and they’ve had to deal with feelings of isolation as they were unable to spend time with friends, so we are pleased to be playing our role in Youth Mental Health Day.
“The charities we have partnered with, which are all funded by the Liverpool ONE Foundation, have a real expertise and passion for improving and protecting the wellbeing of young people.
“We’re now finalising how our stores are getting involved with the three organisations, so we’re confident that we will be able to shine a light on this extremely important subject.”
According to research from charity Young Minds, loneliness and isolation; concerns about school or college; and a breakdown in routine were highlighted as the main pressures during the most recent lockdown.
The survey, which was carried out with more than 2,400 people aged 13-25 earlier this year, found that 75% of respondents found the third lockdown the hardest while 67% believed the pandemic would have a long-term negative effect on their mental health.
Youth Mental Health Day aims to encourage understanding and discussion of mental health in young people, enabling them to live happier, healthier lives all year round.
As part of its core work, the Liverpool ONE Foundation invests in community projects that promote positive mental health among the city’s young people, with more than £2.5 million having been donated by the Foundation, £240,000 of which has been given to 10 organisations this year.
Donna added: “Since its launch, the Liverpool ONE Foundation has strived to raise awareness of, and help fund, a range of charities across the Liverpool City Region, helping to pave the way for a variety of important mental health projects.
“Youth Mental Health Day will be an opportunity for us to give a selection of these organisations a platform and offer our visitors a taste of their services. It will also give us an idea of how effective in-store activities such those taking place on the day are and whether there’s an appetite to expand this across the year.
“We’re incredibly grateful the charities which are joining forces with us and we’re confident that we can help make a difference to local young people’s mental health.”
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